The most common electrophysiologic mechanisms leading to SCD are tachyarrhythmias such as ventricular fibrillation (VF) or ventricular tachycardia (VT). Interruption of tachyarrhythmias, using either an automatic external defibrillator (AED) or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), has been shown to be an effective treatment for VF and VT. The implantable defibrillator has become the central therapeutic factor in the prevention and treatment of sudden cardiac death. Patients with tachyarrhythmias, especially VT, carry the best overall prognosis among patients with sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
Approximately 12% of all natural deaths occur suddenly, and 88% of them are of cardiac origin. This is the form of death in more than 50% of coronary heart disease patients. Moreover, it is the first symptom in 19-26% of cases. This close relationship with coronary heart disease results in cardiovascular riskfactors being also risk factors for sudden death.
CPR: Immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is critical to treating sudden cardiac arrest. By maintaining a flow of oxygen-rich blood to the body's vital organs, CPR can provide a vital link until more advanced emergency care is available. Ongoing Research is being done at cardiac centres.